The real ‘Spotlight’: meet team that inspired the Oscar-nominated film
ABC News - 02/26/2016
Walter “Robby” Robinson
Walter has worked at The Globe for more than three decades and is a Boston local, through and through. He grew up north of the city and went to high school right across the street from the paper’s main offices. He often jokes that his friends use to say he hasn’t gone all that far in life. That couldn’t be farther from he truth.
After high school, he attended Northeastern University, where he returned to teach from 2007 to 2014, and had a stint in the Army, where he reached the prestigious rank of captain. Much like his colleagues, his love affair with journalism has a very specific point of origin.
“When I was a grammar school kid, I got my first paper route,” he said. “At about 5 a.m., I went and got the bundle of papers. … I opened it up and I picked up the paper. I literally read the paper and I said, ‘My god, I am the first person in my town to know what happened in the news!'”
That was all it took.
In fact, he would take two papers each day, so his family could discuss current affairs at home. He said it was always a debate at the Robinson household. Robby’s first job came in 1966 at a small paper in Lawrence, Mass.
“The idea that you could fall into a job that actually pays you money, that you can go out and ask people questions and find out things of importance. It’s the whole phenomenon of the old journalistic phrase of having a front row seat on history, to be there and then to fall into investigative reporting where every time you take on a project, you’re doing something that really serves the public if you do it well. That’s our function — is to hold powerful institutions and individuals accountable because if we don’t do it, nobody else will,” he said.